Board Converting News, June 13, 2022

BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 38 years June 13, 2022 VOL. 38. NO. 24

An Update On Tax Deductions For TAPPI/AICC CorrWeek 2022 BY PHILLIP M. PERRY If you attend trade shows on a regular basis, you’ve probably noticed that travel costs keep going up. Sending several people to an event can result in a serious hit to your bottom line. Luckily, Uncle Sam allows you to soften the financial blow by de- ducting your travel expenses on your income tax return for any legiti- mate show. And what qualifies as legitimate? The answer is basically that the event must relate directly to your business.

Jim Curley, Former Editor In Chief Of BCN, Dies at 78 Jim Curley, the first Editor in Chief of Board Converting News when it was founded by Ted Vilardi in 1985, passed away on Monday, June 6, in Ship Bottom, NJ, at age 78. A corrugat- ed industry icon who possessed a depth of knowledge and an ability to communicate ri- valed by few others, Curley reported on news and association events on a weekly basis until his retirement in 2012 after 27 years. James Michael Curley was born May 2, 1944, in Tenafly, NJ, the son of Hugh and Mary Curley. He graduated from Bergen Catholic High School, received a BA from Boston Col- lege and an MA from Fairleigh Dickinson Uni- versity. For nearly three decades, he was the Operations Manager for NV Business Publish- ers Corporation, where his chief duty was the publication of Board Converting News . Jim loved his hometown of Ship Bottom at the New Jersey shore, where he served as a member of the LBI (Long Beach Island) Li- brary Board and as a freelance writer, he was a frequent contributor to The Sand Paper. He was proud of his Irish heritage and was a longstanding member and president of the Amergael club of Stafford Township.

“As long as you are expecting to generate business from the trade show, then expenses for attending are legitimate deductions,” says Richard R. Rhodes, an enrolled agent with Hinckley Tax Service, Medi- na, Ohio ( ). “Even if you do not generate reve- nue directly from the event, you might be anticipating doing business in the future with someone you have networked with.” Supporting Material You can take specific steps to establish that your trip is a legitimate one for tax purposes. “The IRS wants to know the intent behind your travel,” says Suzette Flemming, President of Flemming Business Ser- vices, a financial management company based in Great Falls, MT (flem- “Take notes that support the business na- ture of your trip. Whom did you see? What subjects did you discuss? How did activities during your trip support your operations?” Retain any materials such as show badges or seminar workbooks that help prove you were actually at the event, says Flemming. Oth- CONTINUED ON PAGE 24


WHAT’S INSIDE 5 Domtar On Track To Complete Conversion Project In TN 8 ICPF Announces NY Weekend To Include Matinee To See MJ 10 ISM: Manufacturing, Economy Continued Expansion In May 12 Latest AICC Podcast Feautures Fosber’s President Jeff Pallini


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Machinery and Handling for the Corrugated Board Industry

2 June 13, 2022

AVERAGE CONTAINERBOARD PRICES The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout the United States the week previous to issue. Prices in some areas of the country may be higher or lower than the tabulated average. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser.

REGION E. Coast Midwest Southeast Southwest

42# Kraft liner

26# Semi-Chem. Medium

$1005.00-1010.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1050.00-1060.00 $1023.00-1032.00

Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del.

$940.00-990.00 $955.00-975.00 $955.00-975.00 $955.00-975.00 $975.00-995.00 $958.00-978.00

West Coast U.S. Average

SHEET PRICES BY REGION (AVERAGE) Per 1MSF, local delivery included, 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. Sheets

E. Coast Midwest South-SW S. CA N.CA/WA-OR US Aver.

200# 275#



$62.69 $82.80

$85.35 119.54

$73.13 101.29





More box makers, brokers and end users are relying on the containerboard pricing in Board Converting News to negotiate their contracts than ever before.








107.46 118.45

114.69 129.32

116.54 137.25 117.82 145.56

141.08 148.46

122.76 131.80

CANADIAN SHEET PRICES (AVERAGE) In Canadian Dollars, per 1MSF, local delivery included, under 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. 200# 275# Oyster UC 275#DW 350#DW $78.56 $99.18 $9.00 $96.32 $105.83 CANADIAN LINERBOARD & MEDIUM The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout Canada. Prices may be higher or lower in various areas of the country. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser. Prices are Canadian $ and per metric ton.

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Domtar On Track To Complete Plant Conversion Project In TN

Fort Mill, South Carolina based Domtar reported that it is on track to completing its $350 million transformation proj- ect in Kingsport, Tennessee, to become a containerboard manufacturer. The company recently released an update saying the company’s first 100 percent recycled packaging facility should be complete by the end of 2022. Domtar also announced the dedication of its newly built bridge in honor of Marty Barfield, a former mill man- ager who died in 2020 after a long illness. “We believe this structure is symbolically our ‘bridge to the future,’” Domtar Mill Manager Troy Wilson said. “It’s a perfect and meaningful way to honor Marty Barfield and his contributions to the mill. It represents his vision for the mill’s future and the positive influence he’s had on us all.” The bridge was built as part of Domtar’s efforts to of- fer a new entry and exit point for trucks hauling raw and finished material at the site. Officials say the new bridge is designed to reduce disruptions to traffic through down- town. The company was able to build the bridge on the Cloud Park property, which was owned by the City of King- sport until the city and Domtar swapped it for Domtar’s Cement Hill property that sits behind the mill. The company has also received its first recycled mate- rial bale, made up of retail boxes and other mixed paper such as cereal boxes, office paper and newsprint. Each year, the mill will use about 660,000 tons of recovered pa- per to produce new recycled packaging products to serve independent corrugated converters. “We’re building recovered paper inventory in a thought- ful, measured way to prepare for our startup later this year,” Packaging Senior Vice President Steve Henry said. The conversion project will transform the former paper manufacturer into a mill that creates containerboard. Once the Kingsport mill’s conversion is complete, it will have the capacity to produce and market nearly 600,000 tons of high-quality recycled linerboard and corrugated medium each year, making it the second- largest recycled contain- erboard machine in North America. Visit for more information. WestRock To Close Mill In Panama City, FL Atlanta, Georgia based WestRock Company recently an- nounced that it will permanently cease operations at its mill in Panama City, Florida, effective June 6, 2022. The mill produces containerboard, primarily heavy- weight kraft, and fluff pulp, with a combined annual capac- ity of 645,000 tons. Select grades of containerboard cur- rently produced at the mill will be manufactured at other WestRock facilities. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6


June 13, 2022

WestRock To Close (CONT’D FROM PAGE 5)

Box Shipments ( U.S. Corrugated Product Shipments) Industry Shipments In Billions of Square Feet Month March 2022

“A decision to close a facility and impact the lives of our employees is never easy to make,” said David B. Sewell, Chief Executive Officer at WestRock. “As we implement our plans to close the Panama City mill, we do so with great appreciation for the many contributions of the team there. We are committed to assisting our Panama City team with exploring roles at other WestRock locations and outplace- ment assistance.” WestRock is committed to improving its return on in- vested capital as well as maximizing the performance of its assets, and the Panama City mill would require significant capital investment to maintain and improve going forward. In addition, production of fluff pulp is not a priority in the company’s strategy to focus on higher value markets. By closing this mill, significant capital that would be required to keep the mill competitive in the future will be deployed to improve other key assets. The Panama City mill employs approximately 450 peo- ple. Employees of the Panama City mill will receive sev- erance and outplacement assistance in accordance with Company policy and labor union agreements. WestRock partners with its customers to provide sus- tainable paper and packaging solutions. Its team mem- bers support customers around the world from locations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Visit for more information.



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2022 2021

37.675 37.992


8.190 8.259


Industry Total

Year-to Date

March 2022



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2022 2021

102.648 102.938


8.019 8.170


Industry Total

Containerboard Consumption (Thousands of Tons)



Percent Change Year-to-Date Percent Change

2022 2021

3.1027 3.0967


8.4866 8.4625


Container Board Inventory - Corrugator Plants (Thousands of Tons)

Corrugator Plants Only


Percent Change Weeks of Supply

Percent Change

Mar. Feb.

2.2693 2.3081


3.4 3.5


Shipping Days




2022 2021

23 23

64 63

SOURCE: Fibre Box Association


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ICPF Announces Weekend In NY To Include Matinee To Hit Musical MJ The International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF) has announced that ICPF’s 2022 Holiday Weekend in New York (Friday-Sunday, December 9-11, 2022) will include a Saturday Broadway matinee of this year’s top Tony Award nominee, MJ .

Friday evening reception on December 9, sponsored by Pratt Industries. On Saturday, December 10, ICPF guests will attend the Saturday Broadway matinee of MJ , spon- sored by BW Papersystems. On Saturday night, partic- ipants will be treated to a reception and dinner at New York’ City’s renowned Empire Steak House. The reception is sponsored by Fosber America, and the dinner is spon- sored by the WestRock Corporation. Bring your spouse or guest for holiday shopping, sight- seeing, dining, Broadway plays, and enjoying New York during the holiday season, all while supporting ICPF’s educational programs and student outreach. Many par- ticipating executives (manufacturing executives, box plant owners, and service & supplier executives) invite clients and reward key executives from their companies with this special holiday weekend event. ICPF Chairman, Tim Bergwall, President Paper Packag- ing and Land Management at Greif Inc,. stated, “The week- end is always a special opportunity to reunite with peers in an informal social environment making ICPF’s holiday weekend in New York one of the most unique events in the industry.” Due to high demand, registration will be on a “first- come, first-serve” basis. Those registering by July 31, 2022, will save $200 on the registration fee. E-mail reg- or visit News & Events” at for more information and to down- load a registration form.

The new musical has been nominated for a record 10 Tony Awards and is considered by many to be the best musical to hit Broadway this year. MJ features over 25 of Michael Jackson’s biggest hits. The show takes audiences behind the scenes as Michael prepares for his 1992 World Tour, providing an in-depth look at his creative process. ICPF’s Holiday Weekend in New York will begin with a

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ISM: Manufacturing, Economy Continued Expansion In May

“The New Orders Index reading of 55.1 percent is 1.6 percentage points higher than the 53.5 percent recorded in April. The Production Index reading of 54.2 percent is a 0.6 percentage point increase compared to April’s figure of 53.6 percent. The Prices Index registered 82.2 percent, down 2.4 percentage points compared to the April figure of 84.6 percent. The Backlog of Orders Index registered 58.7 percent, 2.7 percentage points higher than the April reading of 56 percent. “The Employment Index went into contraction territory at 49.6 percent, 1.3 percentage points lower than the 50.9 percent recorded in April. The Supplier Deliveries Index reading of 65.7 percent is 1.5 percentage points lower than the April figure of 67.2 percent. The Inventories Index reg- istered 55.9 percent, 4.3 percentage points higher than the April reading of 51.6 percent. The New Export Orders Index reading of 52.9 percent is up 0.2 percentage point compared to April’s figure of 52.7 percent. The Imports In-

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in May, with the overall economy achieving a 24th consecutive month of growth, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. The report was issued last week by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manu- facturing Business Survey Committee: “The May Manufacturing PMI registered 56.1 percent, an increase of 0.7 percentage point from the reading of 55.4 percent in April. This figure indicates expansion in the overall economy for the 24th month in a row after a con- traction in April and May 2020. This is the second-lowest Manufacturing PMI reading since September 2020, when it registered 55.4 percent.

dex fell into contraction territory, decreas- ing 2.7 percentage points to 48.7 percent from 51.4 percent in April. “The U.S. manufacturing sector remains in a demand-driven, supply chain-con- strained environment. Despite the Employ- ment Index contracting in May, companies improved their progress on addressing moderate-term labor shortages at all tiers of the supply chain, according to Business Survey Committee respondents’ comments. “Panelists reported slightly lower rates of quits compared to April. May was a sec- ond straight month of slight easing of prices expansion, but instability in global energy markets continues. Surcharge increase ac- tivity appears to be stabilizing across all in- dustry sectors. Sentiment remained strong- ly optimistic regarding demand, with five positive growth comments for every cau- tious comment. Panelists continue to note supply chain and pricing issues as their big- gest concerns. Demand expanded, with the (1) New Orders Index improving, supported by stronger growth of new export orders, (2) Customers’ Inventories Index remaining at a very low level and (3) Backlog of Orders In- dex increasing. Consumption (measured by the Production and Employment indexes) was mixed during the period, with a com- bined minus-0.7-percentage point change to the Manufacturing PMI® calculation. The Employment Index contracted after expand- ing for eight straight months, but panelists indicated improvement in ability to hire in May compared to April. Challenges with turnover (quits and retirements) and result- ing backfilling continue to plague efforts

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Latest AICC Podcast Features Fosber’s President Jeff Pallini

ISM: Manufacturing (CONT’D FROM PAGE 10)

to adequately staff organizations, but to a slightly lesser extent compared to April. Inputs — expressed as sup- plier deliveries, inventories and imports — continued to constrain production expansion. The Supplier Deliveries Index indicated deliveries slowed at a slower rate, which was supported by the Inventories Index increase in May. The Imports Index contracted in May after six consecutive months of expansion, reflecting the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns in China. The Prices Index increased for the 24th consecutive month, at a slower rate than April. “All of the six biggest manufacturing industries — Ma- chinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Transportation Equipment; Petroleum & Coal Products; and Chemical Products — registered moderate-to-strong growth in May. “Manufacturing performed well for the 24th straight month, with demand registering faster month-over-month growth and consumption softening due to labor force con- straints. Overseas partners’ disruptions are beginning to impact U.S. manufacturing, creating a near-term headwind for factory output growth,” says Fiore. Fifteen manufacturing industries reported growth in May, in the following order, among them: Printing & Related Support Activities; Machinery; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.

Gene Marino, Executive Vice President, Akers Packaging Service Group and AICC Board Chair, and Joe Morelli, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Huston Patterson Printers & Lewisburg Printing Company and AICC Associate Board Chair, spoke with Fosber President Jeff Pallini in the latest episode of the podcast “Breaking Down Boxes.” Pallini shares how his company created a culture built around a customer service model taught to him by his fa- ther: “Commitment to the customer to work harder than anyone in the in- dustry to make our customer happy.” Listeners will learn how his approach to hiring the right team members fosters this culture. He also explains how the accident that took his hand changed him and the work he does to help others in the industry take responsibility for their own safety. “Jeff is an inspirational leader, who’s story of success is 100 percent self-made and one that isn’t all that surprising considering his passion for Fosber, his perspective on life and his competitive drive,” said Morelli. The podcast is available now. Subscribe on all major podcast platforms or visit . Jeff Pallini

12 June 13, 2022

Jim Curley, Former Editor (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1)

While Curley’s NV Publications “family” and the corrugated industry as a whole are saddened by the news of his sudden passing, all were quick to contribute memories of the man who touched so many lives with his sincerity, compassion, and sense of humor. “Jim was with NV from the outset and was an invaluable employee, friend and family member,” said Jeneane Vilardi, who assumed owner- ship of NV Publications after the passing of her husband Tom in 2018. “He loved his Irish heritage and was an encyclopedia of information on that and anything Gaelic. He was there when I married Tom and I will al- ways remember him as a humorous and extremely kind man.”

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“The epitome of an editor, Jim had a mastery of the language and used his skills to report on and analyze events and developments in the industry he loved. If Jim wrote it, you could take it to the bank,” said Robyn Smith, President/Publisher of NV Publications. Dan Brunton, Managing Director, Brunton Business Publications Ltd, remembered his first encounter with Curley: “I first met Jim 32 years ago, when I was 16-years-old, on one of our family vacations to New Jersey to visit the Vilardi family. It was about eight years later that I rubbed shoul- ders with him in terms of editorial duties, as I learned the trade. He was one of those old-school editors, with a solid background in journalism; he knew so many people in the North American industry, and he was respected for his forthright views and meticulous reporting. I know how much he was trusted by Ted and Tom Vilardi, it was a sad day when he re- tired and passed over the editorial reins to Len Prazych. I know Jim would be proud that ‘his’ BCN is in good hands. Rest in peace, Mr. Curley.” As current Editor in Chief of Board Converting News , Prazych was especially moved by the loss of a colleague, a mentor and a friend: “I’m extremely humbled by the fact that I’m only the second person to ever to hold this position at BCN. I will always remember Jim and his generosity and graciousness in sharing both his knowledge of the job and the in- dustry with me. I still feel him looking over my shoulder as I’m looking for just the right words that will allow me to finish another feature article and another issue, on deadline, of course. Thank you, Jim!” Jackie Schultz, former Editor-In-Chief of Corrugated Today who re- tired in 2021, said, “Jim was the consummate reporter who possessed Jim Curley, second from right, was inducted into the AICC Hall of Fame in 2017 during AICC’s Fall Meeting in Las Vegas. The award was presented by Will Miis, formerly of RISI, right, along with AICC’s Mike D’Angelo and Steve Young.

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Jim Curley, Former Editor (CONT’D FROM PAGE 14)

remember him with nothing but loving thoughts. I was very saddened to learn of his passing.” “Jim was a friend to me and a friend to the Indepen- dent,” said AICC President Mike D’Angelo. “He was a regu- lar at AICC meetings and visited a multitude of box plants. He loved the corrugated industry and his writing reflected that love while also showing a keen understanding of op- erations, personalities and market dynamics. I will always remember his professionalism, the twinkle in his eye, and his infections laugh.” Former AICC President and current AICC Ambassador Steve Young remembers, “Jim Curley was one of the most loyal friends our industry has ever had. I remember saying when he was named to our AICC Hall of Fame that he was the corrugated and folding carton industries’ ‘Cheerleader in Chief.’ He never met a stranger among our members and suppliers, and we’ll always remember him for his Irish wit and his Jesuit wisdom, both of which shone forth in his weekly writings about our industry.”

a natural inquisitiveness for uncovering all of the wonder- ful aspects of the board converting industry, resulting in countless articles for BCN and Corrugated Today . Wheth- er he was writing about a box manufacturer or an industry supplier or covering an association meeting, he had a true gift in his ability to turn around copy very quickly and home in on the most important and interesting details. But what truly stood out about Jim was his kind-heartedness and generosity, often helping out others. He was a good friend to all and a mentor to me.” Madeleine Crawford, formerly of Harper Machinery and mother-in-law to Tom Vilardi, remembers that Jim was one of the first people she met when she joined the industry. “He was a very private man but always included me when attending conventions all around the world. He was my partner-in-crime when it came to those things. I will always

“I met Jim 16 years ago when he inter- viewed me upon my recruitment to ICPF,” said Richard Flaherty, President of the Inter- national Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF). “Jim was just a really nice person and a good friend to many. I will miss him.” Curley is survived by three of his four brothers: Jack, Tom, and Kevin; nieces and nephews Eileen, Caroline, Catherine, Deb- bie, Mark, Pat, Brendan, Brian, and Dennis, and eight great-nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother Hugh. Memorial contributions can be made to Boston College or the Long Beach Island Library in New Jersey. APC To Open New ‘Center Of Excellence’ In Utah American Packaging Corporation (APC) has announced that it is opening a new 275,000-square-foot Center of Excellence manufacturing facility in Cedar City, Utah. The new operation will add over 135 jobs. APC purchased the land in October 2021 and broke ground on February 8, 2022, at a ceremony with civic leaders and compa- ny officials. The new facility is expected to open and be fully operational in June 2023, and will include flexographic printing press- es, laminating, preformed pouching and fin- ishing equipment. APC will hire 75 new APC team members as part of phase one, with career opportunities in manufacturing, pro- duction, engineering and administration.

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port customers’ unique packaging needs and deliver final products that distinctly stand out on the shelf. “Our 1,200 APC employees are our family members — we treat them that way because we want them to suc- ceed at their career at APC and at home,” APC CEO Peter Schottland said. “Our employees’ contributions and efforts are the reason we’re able to expand our footprint, grow in markets and make improvements in technology.” Visit for more information. Rusken Packaging Names Harbison Plant Manager In Cullman Cullman, Alabama based Rusken Packging has an- nounced the addition of Mark Harbison as the new Plant

Various options were considered for the new facility during the site selection process for APC’s first location in the western United States. Cedar City will serve as a stra- tegic logistical location for both trucking and rail, providing excellent access to raw materials, as well as shipping to current and future customers. “This is a great opportunity for APC to continue our growth strategy in current and new markets and attract new business opportunities,” APC President Jeff Koch said. “It’s an exciting time for APC and for our employees as we expand and diversify our customer base, which in return allows us to reinvest in all of our facilities nation- wide.” “In addition to attracting new business opportunities, the Cedar City location will further enhance APC’s support to our current customers with operations in the western half of the U.S. by providing a production option closer to our customers’ operations with shorter delivery require- ments,” APC Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Of- ficer Ray Graham said. For APC, a family-oriented city with a rich history, a culture of hard work and integrity, and a supportive com- munity was imperative to the selection of Cedar City. This new location enables APC to be closer to and collaborate directly with customers in the western market. The facility will include world-class print media technologies to sup-

Manager for its headquarters facility in Cullman, Alabama. As the Plant Manager, Harbison will be responsi- ble for managing all aspects of Cull- man’s plant production. He comes to Rusken with 37 years of manage- ment experience and is a seasoned industry professional. He started his

Mark Harbison

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18 June 13, 2022


HexcelPack Wins To Award At Innovation Event In UK

Bristol, Connecticut based HexcelPack, a developer of eco-friendly, paper-based protective cushioning solutions to replace bubble packaging and other plastic or foam- based materials, won “Most Innovating Product” for its HexcelWrap™ cushioning paper at the prominent Packag- ing Innovations & Empack Show in Birmingham, UK. Voted upon by both exhibitors and attendees, the show’s Pack- aging Innovations Showcase award is a significant win for HexcelPack, which beat out over a dozen competitors of sustainable packaging products. Like all HexcelPack products, HexcelWrap™ utilizes the company’s groundbreaking slit paper technology, which converts extensible paper into a three-dimensional, inter- nationally patented cushioning product by making pre- cise cuts at specific angles. This method makes the paper


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“flex,” expanding its volume while maximizing the strength and stiffness of its fibers. The result is a superior cushion- ing product proven to outperform recent knockoffs and environmentally-harmful product protection alternatives – including plastic-based bubble and pillow packaging. HexcelPack protective cushioning is easily dispensed through the company’s compact options, including a stand- alone and completely recyclable tabletop dispensing sta- tion. The most popular of these, the Mini Packing Station™, is an easy-to-use, human-powered dispenser requiring no electricity, zero maintenance, and a mere fraction of the tabletop space required for competing solutions. Available in both white and Kraft paper, benefits of Hex- celWrap™ and the Mini Packing Station™ include: • Unsurpassed Product Protection: Engineered with Ul- tra Stretch™ technology, HexcelWrap™ delivers supe- rior cushioning and product protection. Users simply stretch, wrap and tear the lightweight, interlocking ma- terial to custom lengths without the need for tape or scissors. HexcelWrap™ is ideal for shipping fragile items and reduces product damage by eliminating, among CONTINUED ON PAGE 22

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HexcelPack Wins (CONT’D FROM PAGE 20)

other adverse events, glass-on-glass contact during the supply chain journey. • Sustainability: Completely paper-based, HexcelWrap™ cushioning paper is made of 100% Program for the En- dorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Canadian Pa- per for exemplary sustainability and little to no impact on the environment – all while delivering protection proven to outperform plastic bubble packaging and pil- lows. Unlike single-use plastic bubble, the paper used to produce HexcelWrap™ is fully curbside recyclable and biodegradable. • Return On Investment: Especially considering the fully manual, electricity- and maintenance-free nature of the Mini Packing Station™ dispenser, using HexcelWrap™ is as impactful on the bottom line as it is on the environ- ment. Protective and cost-effective, the system allows retailers to expediently recoup their investment. “This award is an honor for our team, as it is a testa- ment to our many years of experience in developing inno- vative packaging solutions that offer sustainability without sacrificing product protection,” said Lorne Herszkowicz, Partner at HexcelPack. “We are thrilled to have the indus- try recognize HexcelWrap’s wide-ranging benefits – from its seamless integration capabilities to its ability to reduce box sizes, control damages, reduce labor costs, save warehouse space, and eliminate redundant packaging.”

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Tax Deductions (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1)

People | Knowledge | Software | Services

er helpful materials would be conference agendas with business-oriented sessions, a list of exhibitors who serve your organization, a catalog of relevant seminars (mark the ones you attended) and business cards and vendor bro- chures. What To Deduct Here is an important caveat: The ideas in this article are intended to provide you with initial guidance. You should always confer with qualified legal and accounting profes- sionals to make sure you deduct expenses properly. So what are some deductible expenses? Actual trans- portation costs are the most obvious. They can include travel by airplane, train, bus or automobile. Taxi or hired car travel during the trade show visit is also deductible. So are baggage costs, tips and what the IRS calls “ordinary and necessary expenses related to your business travel.” These might include rental fees for computers or other equipment. The Internal Revenue Service provides extensive guid- ance on the deduction of expenses in its publication Trav- el, Gift and Car Expenses. Visit and search for “463.” For a complete list of deductible items in that publication see Table 1-1 on page 5. Additional informa- tion is available in another IRS document entitled Business Travel Expenses. Search the same site for “511.” In an attempt to assist the restaurant industry, the COVID-19-related Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed into law December 2020, made an important change to the deductibility of eligible meals during business travel. Such expenses are 100 percent deductible if incurred pri- or to January 1, 2023. (Previously the deduction was 50 percent). Note that meal costs are not deductible at all if the trade show is close to home. The IRS puts it this way in its publication Travel, Gift and Car Expenses: “You can deduct the cost of meals if it is necessary for you to stop for substantial sleep or rest to properly perform your du- ties while traveling away from home on business.” If your travel requires an overnight stay, then meals are eligible for deduction. On a related matter, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminated the deductibility of entertainment—an expense commonly encountered by businesspeople at- tending trade shows. “Loss of the entertainment deduc- tion has hit many businesses pretty hard,” says Flemming. “Some are rethinking how they court clients.” How about your own business: Should you still entertain customers even though you cannot deduct the bill? “You need to look at your return on investment,” says Flemming. “Does the expense result in more business because it encourages customers to return?” Careful Records Despite the elimination of the entertainment deduction, there are still many legitimate deductions available to busi- ness travelers. And while they certainly soften travel’s bot-

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Tax Deductions (CONT’D FROM PAGE 24)

AIR CONVEYING CORPORATION is a recognized leader in the industry of Pneumatic Conveying Systems and has been in business since 1968. As an equipment manufacturer rather than simply a sales organization, we have complete control over the quality of material and products which make up your proposed system. Our equipment is found in Printing, Folding Carton and Corrugated plants throughout the country and the world.

tom-line impact, keep in mind that the system only works if you record and retain the requisite backup documenta- tion. “Travel expenses, especially those for meals, are very often low hanging fruit for auditors,” says Rhodes. “That’s because many people fail to keep adequate records.” If your paperwork does not support your deductions, they can be taken away. In addition to the increased taxes that will result, there may also be penalties and interest payments. So how can you track your expenses in a way that will satisfy the authorities? The tried and true medium is pa- per—and many people still keep folders bulging with re- ceipts. But with the arrival of the digital age, things can be a bit easier—at least for anyone comfortable with technol- ogy. “Smart phone apps are especially valuable for keeping receipts of your meals,” says David Cawley, Partner and Certified Valuation Analyst at Fraim, Cawley & Company, CPAs, Roanoke, VA ( ). “You can just take pictures of your receipts and store them in a database.” Alternatively, you can have vendors email receipts to your smart phone. Then file the emails in a folder which is easi- er to access—and to back up—than faded paper files. (For computer programs that can help see the note at the end of this article, “Apps That Track Expenses.”)

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Tax Deductions (CONT’D FROM PAGE 26)

tandem, then use whichever number is higher. This can be really handy in high per diem cities.” The per diem option is often overlooked by business travelers. “Many people will deliberately keep their meal expenses low, because they are on a budget,” says Caw- ley. “But then they forget that they have a right under the IRS code to take the higher per diem rate. As a result they end up not getting their higher deduction.”

One more thing: Once you have your records in hand, hang onto them. “The IRS can go back three years when auditing your returns,” says Flemming. “If they find any- thing they can go even further back than that. So we rec- ommend keeping documentation for seven years, which is as far back as the IRS can go.” When it comes to state law, Flemming cautions, the rules can be more onerous. Montana, for example, can go back 10 years. “Find out what the rules are in your own state, because each one is different.” Bonus tip: “Consider charging all of your business ex- penses on a dedicated credit card,” says Cawley. “Then you’ll have a permanent record of where you went and how much you spent.” And that credit card’s statements will provide an easily accessible journal of your business activities. Per Diem Rates Does collecting meal receipts—digital or otherwise— seem like a hassle? Ask your accountant if you are eligible to utilize “per diem” rates—daily cash amounts that are set by the government. “Each year the IRS comes out with a per diem rate for each geographic area,” says Cawley. “The rule is that you can either deduct your actual expenses in terms of meals and incidentals or just use the per diem rate, based on how many days you are there. You should track both in

One more thing: Are you planning to use your personal car to travel to the show? If so, you face another decision: Whether to use the standard mileage rate or keep track of your actual expenses. The decision will lie in how good a record keeper you are and how much hassle you want to put up with. Sometimes the standard deduction is the

easier option. Personal Time

What if you spend some vacation or personal time during your trip? How does that affect the deductibility of


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Tax Deductions (CONT’D FROM PAGE 28)

with your spouse who is participating for a genuine busi- ness reason in the event, then that individual’s expenses are covered,” says Flemming. Keeping Track Trade shows can be valuable resources for your busi- ness. By bringing together vendors and buyers in one place, they facilitate more buying activity and higher prof- its. Taking the time to document your activity when you travel to a show can help alleviate the costly impact travel and hotel expenses can have on your bottom line. “It can be hard to keep careful records when you are busy, but those records do help come income tax time,” says Cawley. “Tracking your travel expenses when you attend a Hate stuffing bags with paper receipts and jotting in- decipherable notes in journals? Try using these electronic expense trackers that are as close as your smart phone. • : Integrates the recording of travel ex- penses with other expense management software. • : Ensures compliance with employer’s trav- el expense reimbursement policies. • : Runs in the background to track mileage and creates an end-of-trip record. Phillip M. Perry is an award-winning business journalist whose byline has appeared over 3,000 times in the na- tion’s business press. Contact him at trade show can really pay off.” Apps That Track Expenses

your expenses? An excerpt from IRS document 463 pro- vides some clarification: “You can deduct all of your travel expenses if your trip was entirely business-related. If your trip was primarily for business and, while at your business destination, you extended your stay for a vacation, made a personal side trip, or had other personal activities, you can deduct only your business-related travel expenses.” It’s important to keep careful records about your jour- ney, allocating correctly between business and personal time. “My overall tip is to be truthful,” says Catherine Raker, an accountant with Cendrowski Corporate Advisors, Chi- cago ( ). “If it’s really a personal trip and you do some business-related activities don’t write the whole trip off as a business expense.” Expenses that are shared for business and vacation can fall into a grey area, according to Cawley. “Your airline fare might be disallowed if you spend two days of your trip on business and five days on vacation. On the other hand, your hotel bill for the specific two business days, and oth- er direct expenses for the business portion of your trip, would still be deductible.” Personal time often means the presence of a spouse— and expenses related to that individual’s travel can com- plicate record keeping. Ordinarily such expenses must be separated from those of the business traveler and may not be deducted. There is one exception: “If you are traveling

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